I had an opportunity several years ago to work as a bartender for the owners of a major sporting team in the town where I live. I worked in the private suite at the stadium, arriving well before game time to get ready for hundreds of guests. Most of the drinks were pretty simple and on breaks I got to stand in a doorway that led back out to the “real world” and gulp down shrimp or whatever was being served to the guests.
I met some famous folks, didn’t really work that hard and occasionally even caught a glimpse of the games. Overall, I chalk it up as a pretty cool experience.
On the other hand, I had never before or ever since felt so much like hired “help”.
The funny part of feeling like a servant was that the team owners never left me with this impression, it was the people who showed up to the big party that left me feeling somehow less than.
The guy in a tie who gets me a Bloody Mary or glass of wine.
Place order. Take drink. Repeat when glass is empty.
Now, you might be thinking, “Dude, that was your job. Stand there and make drinks. What did you expect?”
I think I expected acknowledgement. Recognition that I was a fellow human being. For some small talk.
Instead, I felt small and insignificant and unimportant.
And having been a server/bartender in other environments where I did have and make connections with the folks I served it left me feeling hollow, empty, invisible.
I didn’t like feeling like the help. I didn’t like it at all. So, I started and continue to do my best to engage the folks who work at the places I eat, shop, play. I look them in the eyes and ask them questions. I tease and play and joke around. I ask them how they are. No really, how are you? I don’t know if they think I’m just a goofball or whether they appreciate a guy trying to connect in some small way, but I do it because I want to communicate a sense of value to these folks. I want them to know I appreciate their service. I see them and the work they are doing.
So this post probably tells you more about me than most of the other stuff I’ve written. I want to matter and I want to be valued.
I am so ready for Easter. So ready for God to say again, I see you. And more than that, I love you. You matter. You have value.
I am here to help you, so you don’t have to feel like help any more.
Life is better together,